Michigan’s first black college history will reopen its doors to the City of Detroit with the help of city leaders and major corporations.
On Tuesday, the City of Detroit announced that Lewis College of Business will reopen its doors for students in December. HBCU, which closed its doors in 2013 will be reopened by former Nike and Air Jordan designer Dr. D’Wayne Edwards.
Edwards has already garnered support for the reopening of the school from Target, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and the Gilbert Family Foundation.
Edwards is the founder of PENSOLE, a footwear design academy in Portland, Oregon. When the school reopens, the name will be changed from Lewis College of Business to PENSOLE Lewis College of Business and Design (or PLC).
The newly named school will partner with the Detroit -based art school College of Creative Studies (CCS), where the PLC will be located until a permanent home is found.
“82 years later, and 14 years since it lost its accreditation as HBCU, I am honored to revive Violet T. Lewis’ legacy in Detroit, ”Edwards said in a statement.
“As a Black man in the’ 80s growing up in Inglewood, the likelihood of me dying or going to prison was higher than for me to get a corporate job, ”Edwards said. The Detroit News. “A program like the PLC could have saved a lot of people. My hope is, it will save a lot of people until now.”
In order for the school to operate as a valid educational institution in Michigan, the PLC must receive approval from the Michigan Department of Education. The state legislature must approve the PLC’s request to be recognized as an HBCU in Michigan, as well.
The Detroit mayor supports the reopening of the school, which is also a state landmark. Duggan believes an HBCU is necessary to have in a city more black residents than any other city in the US
“As a predominantly Black city, Detroit should have a Black History College operation,” Duggan said. “Having one hasn’t been a hole in our educational landscape for too long.” To have the first HBCU anywhere to reopen what happened in Detroit would be a massive demonstration of how our city will return as a city of opportunity for people of color. “
Lewis College of Business was founded in 1928 by Violet T. Lewis in Indiana. The institution has served as a secretarial school for Black women and has been open in Detroit for nearly 75 years.
Newsweek reached out to Edwards for comment but received no response before being published.